I Will Teach What I Don’t Know – SOL Day 26

I just finished reading Murray while on the treadmill.  As I stepped off — with urgent, tight focus on what I know I have to do (type up my SOL in less than 10, again.) — I came to a conclusion that my husband absolutely hates me saying every once in awhile:  I don’t know what I’m doing.

Sometimes it’s not true in some contexts, sometimes in true in others. but it’s a saying I want to wear on my sleeve, but my husband has taught me to wear pinned to my chest — because of possible consequences.  How credible would it be for a teacher to be saying this all the time?

I don’t know what I”m doing.

     “That’s okay, I can show you.”


“Wow.. what you accomplished was absolutely incredible!!”


..seriously, it’s my secret mantra.

And Don Murray, Godfather of the Writing Process in the Classroom says that’s okay:

“The knowing that we call craft — how to find the right word, how to rub two words together in a phrase that gives off more meaning than either word alone, the skill of allowing a sentence to find its own flowing course, the placing of emphasis within the paragraph, all the techniques I practice, all my knowing, allows me to come face to fact with not knowing.  I am released by the knowing of craft into the unknowing that allows me to write what I do not — and my reader does not — expect.  Together we are allowed to connect, to explore, to astonish, to discover what we didn’t know we knew.

This stimulaxxting ignorance expands the longer I extend my apprenticeship.  It is my comfort and my delight.  Completing my sixth decade of making meaning with words, I look forward to years of increased not knowing.  I will write what I do not yet know in ways I have not yet written.”

Tonight, I eseentially realized 3 things about myself:

  1. I teach like a writer.
  2. I am thereby a writer through and through., and have been for years, even though I have no published work to show for it, because this is exactly how I think.
  3.  I ain’t half bad, I just gotta keep truckin’.

The 4th think I learned is that this would make a really good essay.  Time to pick up a manual on revision (one of the several I have on my shelf), and flesh this out with anecdotes and whatnot.

Time to think about what else I don’t know.


4 thoughts on “I Will Teach What I Don’t Know – SOL Day 26

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